Nov 12, Colombo: In an expansion move Hong Kong based Cathay Pacific Airways today announced the launch of a new weekly freighter service to Colombo in Sri Lanka commencing 2 December 2012.
The new service will expand Cathay Pacific's cargo presence in the South Asia region and give shippers in Sri Lanka greater choice and flexibility for connecting to the airline's international cargo network through the Hong Kong hub, the airline said in a release today.
The Colombo freighter service will be operated on a Hong Kong-Chennai-Colombo-Hong Kong routing every Sunday using one of Cathay Pacific's Boeing 747-400F aircraft.
The airline will become the only carrier to operate the 747-400F out of Colombo, offering more cargo space to meet growing demand.
The new service is aimed at transporting huge volumes of garments and perishables bound for the North America, Europe and Asia markets.
"Sri Lanka is home to major garment and footwear manufacturers producing goods for well-known international brands, and also has sizeable exports of perishable products including tuna and lobster. We already carry sizeable quantities of freight in the bellies of our daily passenger flights to and from Colombo, but the new freighter service will enable us to better meet the demand for Sri Lankan products in major markets around the world," Cathay Pacific Director Cargo Nick Rhodes said.
Cathay Pacific has been serving Sri Lanka since 1993. The airline suspended its operations to Colombo in April 2007 due to security concerns and resumed service from March 2008. It operates seven weekly flights from Colombo to Hong Kong via Singapore and Bangkok.